Thomas Ponniah was a Lecturer in Social Studies, Assistant Director of Studies, and Faculty Associate of the Project on Justice, Welfare and Economics at Harvard University (2003-2011). He is currently a Summer Lecturer at Harvard University, an Affiliate of Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and a Professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. In June 2014 and 2015 he was invited to teach a one week seminar course on “Globalization and Global Justice” to Law School students at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. The course received the highest student evaluations of any course in the summer school.
Dr. Ponniah’s research is focused on social and political philosophy, globalization, development and the Great Books tradition. He is the co-editor of The Revolution in Venezuela (Harvard University Press 2011), the co-editor of Another World is Possible: popular alternatives to globalization at the World Social Forum (Zed Books 2003), and one of the co-authors of Unholy Trinity: the IMF, World Bank and WTO (Zed Books 2003). More recently Dr. Ponniah has begun to research “Great Books” programs and the possibility of creating “Global Great Books” programs which would enable students to study the traditional Western canon as well as the canonical thinkers of non-Western philosophical traditions such as those of China, India, Egypt, Indigenous communities, and others.
Dr. Ponniah is committed to providing students with a liberal arts education because he believes that such training provides them with the initial intellectual, preparation for moral, social and political life. Dr. Ponniah was awarded a Certificate of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching in fourteen of the sixteen semesters that he taught at Harvard University. In 2007 he was awarded the Barrington Moore Prize for Advising Excellence in Harvard’s Social Studies program. In 2008 he was nominated for the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Award and the John R. Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling. In both 2009 and 2011 he won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for advising one of Harvard’s best Senior Theses.